The Scottish Mountain Heritage Collection
Terrordactyl ice axe
MacInnes Terrordactyl ice climbing axe. Metal shaft with black plastic tape wound round. One hole at top of pick. Wide adze, serrated pick. Pointed ferrule with hole. Black plastic round shaft.
Shaft & ferrule 36(l) x 10(cir)cms. Head 26(l) cms. Adze 7.5 (w)cms.
We've got quite a few terrordactyl's about - some spares- most of which belonged to Mick Tighe at some time or another, though some have been donated . Their 'inventor' Hamish MacInnes is still alive and well in 2010 and we asked him to give us the 'low down'.
The " Ice Revolution" started at the end of the 1960's. Mountaineers had been seeking a better way of remaining in contact with steep and overhanging ice. The technique at the time was to hang on to ice pitons, driven into the ice above the leaders head, which was both dangerous and insecure.
Various ideas were tried and rejected and Yvon Chouinard, a Californian and an outstanding mountaineer developed a short, wooden shafted ice hammer with a curved pick serrated on its bottom edge (the Climax). Though the earlier Maclnnes All Metal Ice axes and ice hammers had a straight, slightly declined pick these were not sufficiently "dropped" for direct aid on vertical ice.
Hamish Maclnnes developed the "Terrordactyl" in 1970, which was a short, all metal ice tool with an aluminium alloy shaft and a high quality pressed steel head in two sections with
an adze and steeply inclined serrated pick, for climbing on neve or hard snow.
For several years both the Chouinard ice hammer and the Maclnnes "Terror" dominated the forefront of international ice Climbing.
Eventually the accepted worldwide design for modern ice tools evolved as a combination of these two basic designs with the pick, steeply dropped like the "Terror" but curved upwards at the tip like a reversed Chouinard "Climax" hammer and known as the "Banana" pick
Spectrum : UK Museum documentation standard, V.3.1 2007